A New York cop had more than a push on his shoulders. He also had a stuck driver
By Mark Morales, CNN
As New York City was inundated with record-breaking precipitation earlier this month and dozens of people were left in danger of drowning, two police officers ensured that a driver stranded in the middle of Central Park got away with it. so alive.
Police sergeant. Matt Moschetto waded through rising waters in Central Park to save the man, whose car got stuck during torrential downpour from hurricane Ida September 1.
Moschetto and his partner, Constable Jeremias Torres, found the driver standing on a barrier in his socks, as water flooded his car. The water was rising and the driver was too short to walk, the two officers said.
“He was just saying he couldn’t get out,” Moschetto said. “I guess he waited too long to take the step to actually come out.”
There was only one thing the officers could do.
“We made him lie on my shoulders,” Moschetto said. The extra weight of the conductor actually helped Moschetto stay on his feet, he said, as the current was strong enough to get him through.
Moschetto and his partner were now part of the New York Police Department’s rescue response to increased flooding on the night of September 1. The NYPD carried out 69 water rescues that night, including the anonymous driver, who left without giving his name after being transported to safety.
Ida’s remains struck areas from Virginia to New England as she passed earlier this month. Dozens of deaths after the storm brought unprecedented rainfall to some places, a toll that included at least 13 people in New York.
Central Park set records for precipitation. Over 3 inches fell in just an hour in the evening Moschetto and Torres made the rescue. And the park’s total precipitation – 7.13 inches – was its fifth-highest total for a day.
Moschetto and Torres, who work at NYPD’s Central Park Precinct, were close to wrapping up their tour when they received calls for flooding along the roads in Manhattan’s iconic green space. When the two men arrived at 65th Street Transverse Road, they saw as many as five cars almost submerged in water and two buses stuck in the distance.
“I hope no one is in there,” Moschetto said upon seeing the stranded cars. “I said to my partner, ‘We’re wet today. “”
The two then entered the murky brown water wearing departmental raincoats and carrying a lifebuoy.
“The water was so cold that I started to shake,” Torres said. “I’m 6’1” and the water was in my chest. “
As they walked through the flood waters, they noticed that their radios and other equipment had stopped working.
Moschetto’s body camera footage shows the couple wading through the water and yelling at other drivers, asking if anyone is stuck inside their car. After they finish checking the vehicles, they spot the driver, standing on a cement barricade in his socks next to his flooded car.
“You are going to walk like this with us and I will take you where it is not so deep,” Moschetto is heard saying to the driver.
“He was too small to walk. The water was too high, ”Torres said of the man.
The camera on Torres’ body shows the driver on Moschetto’s shoulders being pulled out of the water to safety.
“If this taxi driver had fallen in this water, he would have been done. No shooting, ”Torres said. “Because you can’t see, and he would have been stuck between the wall and his car.” There’s no way he could have stood in that water.
After rescuing the driver, officers returned to the water to help the buses exit the roadway to safety. They had to work the rest of their shift in their cold, wet uniforms, dealing with paperwork for drivers who had to abandon their cars.
The damage caused by Ida was so severe and sudden that President Joe Biden visited New York and New Jersey to probe the rest.
At least 50 people were killed on the east coast from the effects of the storm.
And if Moschetto and his partner hadn’t been there, the death toll could have risen further.
“This is honestly what we get paid for. This is why we are here, ”Moschetto said. “It was really good to be able to help. Hope someone will do it for my family.
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